The mixed-use complex will feature attractions, retail offerings, a hotel and facilities for airport operations, which will be developed in front of Terminal 1 (T1).
Strategically located in the heart of the gateway, Jewel is envisaged to be a world-class lifestyle destination to enable the hub to capture passenger mindshare, and strongly boost Singapore’s appeal as a stopover point for travellers.
At the groundbreaking ceremony, guests were given a first glimpse of Jewel’s unique architecture and design, as well as its lifestyle offerings, while the event also commencement of expansion works for T1, which will be carried out alongside the construction of the Jewel complex.
The redevelopment of the 3.5 hectare site at T1, formerly an open-air car park, allows Changi Airport to expand the terminal’s footprint, thus increasing T1’s passenger handling capacity to 24 million passengers per annum.
Designed by a consortium of consultants comprising Safdie Architects led by Moshe Safdie, as well as Benoy and local architects RSP, Jewel features a glass and steel façade, which will transform the airport's landscape.
Visitors will be presented with an impressive view of the complex as they travel on the roadways leading to the gateway.
Beneath its distinctive façade, Jewel will be the first in Singapore to seamlessly integrate a refreshing environment of lush greenery amid other attractions and facilities within the same building.
The complex – scheduled for completion by end of 2018 – will have five storeys above ground and five basement storeys, covering a total gross floor area of about 134,000sqm.
Forest Valley and Gateway Gardens
Jewel will also house one of the largest indoor collections of plants in Singapore – with about 22,000sqm of space dedicated to landscaping throughout the complex.
One of Jewel’s centrepiece attractions will be the Forest Valley, a huge five-storey garden filled with thousands of trees, plants, ferns and shrubs.
Visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty of nature within this idyllic valley of verdant landscaping and waterfalls, and even take a hike up the valley in air-conditioned comfort.
There will be four different Gateway Gardens located at the complex, where every garden will feature unique landscaping elements.
The North Gateway Garden will be seamlessly connected to the T1 Arrival Hall, and retain a nostalgic piece of T1’s heritage through landscaping features made from the recycled trunks of raintrees from the former open-air car park.
The other centrepiece of Jewel will be the breathtaking 40-metre high Rain Vortex, expected to be the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, located at the central core of the complex.
Come night-fall, the Rain Vortex will transform into an enchanting light and sound show with special lighting effects.
A playground for everyone
Adding to the existing recreational spaces at Changi Airport that have been popular with Singaporeans, the top level of Jewel will feature park space of approximately 13,000sqm in size, comprising gardens, walking trails, playgrounds and dining outlets.
Canopy Park, with engaging and fun play facilities, is designed to be a wonderland for both the young and old.
In the surrounding area, there will be F&B outlets where visitors will be able to enjoy al fresco-like dining while admiring views of the Forest Valley, in cool comfort throughout the day.
Within Jewel, there will be a wide range of retail offerings, which will appeal to shopaholics from around the world, and the retail mix is envisaged to include exciting new-to-Singapore comparable to the combined space of the two indoor Conservatories at Gardens by the Bay.
Strengthening the Changi air hub
To strengthen Changi Airport’s appeal as a transit hub, there will be facilities in Jewel to enhance passengers’ journey.
The complex will house an integrated multi-modal transport lounge offering dedicated services for fly-cruise and fly-coach passengers, such as ticketing, issuance of boarding passes and baggage transfer services.
These will allow the airport to leverage new opportunities such as the growth of Singapore as a regional cruise centre.
In addition, early check-in facilities in Jewel will enable passengers to check-in for their flights and deposit their luggage ahead of the regular check-in timings - providing them with added convenience.
To widen the range of accommodation options available at the airport, Jewel will offer its own hotel with approximately 130 rooms, operated by Yotel – an international hotel brand with an established presence in Europe and the US.
This adds to the range of lifestyle offerings at Jewel, and provides an additional choice of accommodation for transiting travellers.
The expansion of T1
As passenger traffic increases, there is a need for CAG to expand T1’s handling capacity, to enhance the passenger experience, as well as provide further room for airlines’ growth at the terminal.
With the redevelopment of the open-air car park, CAG will extend the footprint of the terminal building into the space of the site, adding more than 70% to the floor area of the arrival and baggage claim halls.
The expanded T1 Arrival Hall will be seamlessly integrated with Level 1 of Jewel while the Baggage Claim Hall will also see more circulation space and the installation of additional baggage belts, operated by an upgraded baggage handling system.
At the T1 Departure Hall, a revamp of the check-in counters will take place, with the incorporation of self-service kiosks, to improve efficiency as well as optimise the space available.
In addition, improved ground transport facilities will be developed for T1 to cater to increasing visitorship.
A second departure drop-off bay will be constructed, doubling the number of vehicular lanes for drivers to drop off passengers, while the length of the arrival pick-up bay will also be extended by 50%.
A much larger basement car park – spanning five levels with 2,500 parking spaces – will be built as part of the Jewel complex, providing T1 users with sheltered parking directly connected to the terminal.
Facilities for taxis and coaches, such as the taxi waiting area, taxi pick-up bays and coach stand, will also be expanded.
Currently, only Terminals 2 and 3 are directly linked to the Changi Airport Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) station, so new pedestrian linkages will be constructed connecting T1 and Jewel to the MRT station, improving inter-terminal connectivity and accessibility.
The start of an exciting journey
Lee Seow Hiang, CAG’s CEO and chairman of Jewel Changi Airport Devt Pte. Ltd, says: “An important hallmark of Changi Airport’s growth over the past thirty-odd years has been continual change and innovation.
“In charting the airport’s future, this spirit continues to underpin our strategy. Faced with intensifying competition, we challenged ourselves to rethink what an airport can be – not just as a gateway for flights, but as a tourism destination on its own.
“Today’s groundbreaking ceremony marks only the beginning of this exciting journey. Over the next few years, we will work hard with our designers and contractors to execute our vision and realise our aspirations for Jewel.
“We look forward to presenting, in four year’s time, an iconic, world-class destination that both Singaporeans and our passengers from all over the world will enjoy, bringing Changi Airport to its next level of growth.”
Philip Yim, CEO of JCAD, the development and property manager of Jewel, says: “We are delighted to mark a new milestone in the development of Jewel Changi Airport. Apart from distinctive design, Jewel will break new ground with its unique mix of attractions, retail and airport facilities, integrated in a way like never before to create a slew of different experiences in a single visit.
“Located at the doorstep of the award-winning Changi Airport, it will be a place where Singapore and the world meet.
“For international travellers, Jewel will be an exciting tourist destination. For Singaporeans, it will be a playground near home where they can share many happy moments with their loved ones. For our retail partners, the opportunity to reach out to the diverse mix of passengers at a major air hub presents exciting prospects.”
The construction of Jewel and the expansion of T1 will be undertaken by a construction joint venture formed by Woh Hup and Obayashi Singapore.